WEC Would be “Huge Distraction” for Alonso – Eric Boullier


Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren Media Centre

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team‘s racing director Eric Boullier has suggested that for Fernando Alonso to compete in Formula 1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship in the same season would be a “huge distraction” as the Spaniard prepares to test Toyota’s LMP1 car in Bahrain.

As Alonso still eyes motor racing’s triple crown – winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours – there has been a suggestion that Alonso could compete in a number of WEC events leading up to a debut at Le Mans next year.

Boullier, however, believes that the physical demands of competing in both F1 and WEC may be too much.

“I don’t think you can physically do two programmes, it is too complicated,” he told Autosport.

“If you commit to two programmes it is a huge distraction.

“Doing Le Mans, or doing Indianapolis, or doing Daytona, why not? Because it is a one off.

“But doing more than this would definitely be a distraction from his main commitment which is F1.”

Whilst Boullier is fully aware of Alonso’s desire to claim the triple crown – a feat only achieved by Graham Hill – he knows that McLaren’s job is to provide the Spaniard with a race-winning car so his thoughts remain with F1 and not the likes of WEC and Indy Car.

“He said he is keen to do some races outside this triple crown, and there are case-by-case discussions,” said Boullier when asked if Alonso could be released for some WEC events.

“Obviously his main and his first focus is F1 – and that has priority.

“We will do everything we can to give him a competitive car and if we do this he will not race anything else.”

When in Sao Paulo for the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix, Alonso refused to be drawn too much on the matter.

“I’m here and nothing is going to happen over the next few days,” he said, before adding about Le Mans: “We will see if this could be a possibility or not, but right now there’s nothing yet.”

Alonso completed over 100 laps yesterday in Bahrain as he experienced his first taste of the WEC machinery with Toyota Gazoo Racing at the FIA WEC Rookie test.